Are You Ready to Live a Vegetarian Lifestyle?
Albert Einstein, Leonardo Da Vinci, and Steve Jobs were all brilliant minds as well as vegetarians, but does this mean that you must refrain from eating meat in order to be brilliant? Of course not; people create misinterpretations of the effects of a vegetarian lifestyle all the time. First and foremost, it does not determine who you are; only you can do that.
Vegetarianism is not only a personal choice but also a lifestyle, a movement, and a change in habit. Eating meat does not make you a criminal in any way, shape, or form, but the benefits of a meatless diet are long-term and highly worth it.The different variations of vegetarianism practiced are endless and entirely up to the brave soul, whoever it may be, that has decided to embark on the risky yet eye-opening experience.
There is always the standard vegetarian, not eating anything with a face, and pescetarians, who make an exception for eating fish. Other types include ovo-lacto vegetarians (making an exception for dairy and eggs), fruitarians (only fruits), raw foodists (only intake of uncooked food, meat not included), and even the simple vegetarians who may just exclude a specific type of meat, such as chicken or beef, from their diet.
People who have no problem with this usually expand further, refraining from animal-based products entirely, dubbing themselves as vegans, the quintessence of vegetarianism. Though this is a wonderful, selfless (yet self-beneficial) thing to do, I would not encourage jumping straight into veganism and changing your body’s intake entirely, because that is both naive and risky. Most vegans start out as vegetarians and, once comfortable, start to eliminate other animal-based products from their diets as well, but at a moderate pace. Think of it as a pool of cold water; you will want to gradually get used to the feeling of it first, rather than thrusting your whole body in at once, going into shock, then wanting to get out.
I know what you are thinking; why in the world would someone want to stop eating something so delicious that they have had in their diet all their life? Trust me, it has its benefits.
To most, meat is a mouth-watering piece of heaven, and to vegetarians, it’s an unhealthy, fatal outcome of animal massacre. In reality, it’s a little bit of both. Though meat may be arguably the best way to get your daily source of vitamin B12 and protein, which are both vitally necessary for growth, it’s chalk full of fats and can raise risk of certain diseases, such as osteoporosis and bowel cancer.
If you’re reading this and possibly considering vegetarianism of any form, then it’s imperative that I share with you some of the most common vegetarian diet mistakes… before it’s too late.Because meat is a main source of protein in any person’s diet, people tend to depend on it to make themselves full, all while having vegetables and fruits on the side for added nutrition to their meals. But what happens when that main source is cut out? Carbs, that’s what. And lots of it in all different forms.
People on vegetarian diets sometimes eat more carbs because the pastas and breads will initially satisfy and diminish their appetites faster than any ordinary salad would. Those who choose to become vegetarians and gain more weight as a result most likely have this problem. The best way to overcome or avoid carb-overloading is to find a balance. Count carbs, shovel the greens, and search for vegetarian recipes that incorporate grains and veggies in both delicious and healthy ways.
Another common problem with being vegetarian is the lack of high-protein food. People often joke about vegetarians being pale and skinny from their lack of protein-enriched diets, and though this may be true for some, meat is definitely not the only source of protein out there. Eggs, fish, and cheese have a good amount of protein, and if you’re vegan, there are all types of beans, nuts, and seeds filled with protein, as well as energy bars, which are always great on the go as well.
Upon accomplishing a healthy vegetarian lifestyle, you should feel proud. Vegetarians are able to get all the necessary nutrients (or more) for a healthy diet, without the added fats and risk factors that come with consuming meat. And as an added bonus, you won’t be contributing to the cruelty and horrible treatment (if that’s what you believe in) of animals on “factory” farms, or farms that breed and feed animals for the sole purpose of using them for food eventually.
No matter what you choose to consume, something vegetarians and omnivores can both agree on is the overall importance of a healthy, well-balanced diet. Whether you choose to toss a salad or stack a burger tonight, make healthy choices and you’ll be on the right track no matter what type of eater you may be.
Here are some links to delicious vegetarian recipes for you to enjoy, whether you are vegetarian, considering, or just curious.
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